It’s All About Them…
By James Kuiken
Not coincidentally, those are very close to the words that I hope are read over me some day, when I go to join all of them. I can think of no higher honor.
I know for many, Memorial Day weekend is all about the sales and bargains. For me, the day weighs too heavily, and the sales and commercials only serve to p!$$ me off…
However, I am very happy that so many take that time to spend time with their families, enjoy the bar-b-ques and picnics, family outings, etc, and actually spend some time remembering, and even thanking the over 1.8 Million that have given their lives since 1775, including those who still do so today, in service to this country to make all that possible.
This day is all about them. Those who have paid with their lives, to ensure that we, as Americans, have the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. And please don’t forget those who have lost loved ones; the families, wives, husbands, children, parents – their sacrifice is just as severe, their lives forever changed, because their loved one chose to protect and serve.
That is why I always spend the day alone, because I need to have my friends with me that day…but this year I’m making an exception. I’m coming out of my room, and Freedom and I will be riding on the Military Order of the Purple Heart float in the 2017 National Memorial Day Parade. It’s not about us, not about me, not even about the MOPH or any other organization.
It is a way that I can join fellow wounded combat veterans, in a national remembrance for all those who have sacrificed, given their lives or loved ones, in service to our Nation – protecting everything we hold dear. They have paid the ultimate price, and I can honor them and bring attention – to them – by stepping out of my room, and sharing in our National Memorial Day remembrance.
And after it is all over, I can still come back home and have a scotch with my friends, my brothers…
“Here's tae us; wha's like us? ...Damn few, an’ theyr a' deid!”
Virus Scan, Shut Down and Reboot
By Jim Kuiken
As many of you know (those that subscribe to my “Weekly Recap”, which features upcoming events, latest blog posts, and other news), I took some time off to go with my good buddy Clint Goodwin to his annual fishing trip with a few family members and good friends – up to Black Lake NY, the place that prompted me to write “Peace” last year – still one of my absolute favorite articles.
It was time.
I was getting overloaded with the daily press of business, emails, texts, phone calls, meetings and events, finding time to write, and just everyday administrative responsibilities.
I needed to decompress. Get some down time. Clear my head, scan for viruses, shut down and reboot.
It’s amazing how necessary that is for all of us, but how we oftentimes don’t recognize it until we start getting completely overloaded…and when you do realize it, it’s so hard to find the time to do it, to unplug, to step away from the immediate and take some time for the important.
I could feel the blood pressure dropping, and a sense of peace start to infuse my body as we got into his truck (Clint, Freedom and me, with the three younger guys in the following truck), and headed out for a day-long scenic drive up to New York, just talking about fishing, the scenery, good times – and not a word about the daily grind.
The weather was supposed to be fine the first day, and cold, rainy and breezy the next two, but we came prepared.
The good thing about unplugging, if you are prepared to enjoy it, is that you don’t have to work too hard to let all those pressures just slip away, shut down all the apps running in the back of your brain and taking up all that RAM. You can just hear the processors and cooling fan slowing down as your body relaxes, tension draining out. Here are some tips to make the most of your down time, no matter what you do with it.
When you start feeling the pressure of today’s life, the bitterness and anger everywhere in the daily news, deadlines, work schedules, etc…, maybe it’s time to hang out your sign, shut down the apps, unplug for a while, and reboot.